SEO Myths: we reveal key truths behind Search Engine Optimisation

9 July 2017

Here at Hyper Pixel, we optimise websites to achieve optimal search engine visibility. We've therefore busted a few key myths to help you understand the real truth behind optimising your website in 2017.

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Search Engine Optimisation Myths

SEO is often regarded as a black-hat practice, but that is no longer the case. We’ve listed out a few key myths to help you understand the real truth behind optimising your website in 2017. 

#1 Links are better than content

 Likes to and from your website are hugely important, particularly links to it. However they are not the be all and end all. 

A site with relevant content but no links can rank higher than a site with poor content but is linked from lots of sources. Why? Because search engines are now smarter, more intelligent and are built to think like humans. More emphasis is now put on ‘quality’ rather than quantity and weight is given to sites that feature rich, contextually relevant content. 

When undertaking a link building campaign, it is  important to consider the value of the link to your site and its relevancy. Linking from lots of low quality sources may actually do more harm to your page ranking than good. So tread wisely. 

#2 The H1 title tag is the most important

Long ago, the general rule was to ensure that each web page had only one H1 tag, a couple H2 tags, and a few H3’s (and so on). In order, it was deemed that your H1 tag was the most important title on the page, followed by H2, then H3. Past optimisation techniques required placing selected Keywords in these H-tags in order to improve your rankings. 

Now days, thanks to newer HTML schemes and advances of search engines, a web page can in fact have more than one H1 tag. Depending on the quality of your web page coding, a site can clearly tell the likes of Google about different ‘areas’ on your website and as a result, feature multiple h-tags. 

Like all other myths on this page, Google now prioritises relevant, meaningful and contextual content rather than the semantics or placement of keywords. This means that spanning H-tags with keywords won’t do the trick. However that isn’t to say that not caring about your code isn’t important either, as discussed next:

#3 My website theme is as good as any other website

Simply put: No. Whilst a template website is more cost effective; quicker to deploy; and may be less hassle than a custom designed website; the reality is that many one-size-fits-all themes feature poorly written code, code-bloat and generic optimisations. 

Unlike a bespoke build which is tailored to your business, the developers of website themes try to make them broad enough so they can be resold thousands of times and will suit a number of varied businesses. As a result, the code can feature many more ‘options’ or configurations than what you really need. The result is more processing time by the server, and longer delays in displaying your website to the user. 

Delays can introduce negative SEO as Google especially, cares about your users and how long they have to wait to view each page. But that is not all: many template websites aren’t developed with SEO in mind and as a result missout on simple yet effective code to help improve your page rank. 

Whilst the costs associated with a custom build can be higher, one thing to weigh up is the long term cost of trying to optimise a template site, rather than biting the bullet and paying for a better site from day 1. 

#4 Images don’t require optimisation

For a long time, you could ignore your images and focus on content, however times have changed. Search engines like Google are far more now sophisticated and the role of images will now heavily affect your rankings. 

The first issue with images is file size, or more specifically, the time it takes to download each image from the server. Bigger, uncompressed and unoptimsied images result in longer download times which can now be regarded as a negative SEO factor. 

The second issue with images is that they aren’t as easy for Google to understand than text. As a result, webmasters need to name each image something meaningful and make sure to add in ‘altnerative’ next attributes to help describe the image to the search engines. 

Finally it is also important to consider if images are really needed on your site, or if sophisticated CSS styling and text-copy could do the job instead. By opting for this approach, you’ll be giving yourself a better chance for SEO success. 

#5 My clients are all on desktop computers so I dont need a mobile website

This may sounds like a reasonable stance however the truth is far from it. Whilst you may have a good idea as to what device your users maybe viewing your website from, search engines know as well as we do, that things are changing. Google’s recent update placed a high ranking on mobile-friendly websites to reflect a change in viewing behaviour that favours mobile devices. 

Making sure your website is mobile friendly, easy to utilise and make use of a ‘responsive’ framework rather than a separate ‘mobile theme’ are all steps to help avoid any negative SEO.